Ripples #868: Imperfectionism.

Ripples #868: Imperfectionism.
Jan 11, 2016


Imperfections are not inadequacies;
they are reminders that we’re all in this together.
-Brené Brown, shared by Steve in Waco, TX


At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else. -George Leonard, shared by Kelsey in Fond du Lac, WI


This week was adventure-filled: I fired up some residence life folks just down the street from me at Xavier University and then zoomed out west to spend an evening with the CSU San Bernardino Recreation and Wellness Center Staff. The topics were slightly different, but as usual I included some stories and activities around how to more consistently unleash their best efforts in work, school, and life.

Today’s Ripples quotes remind us that there is a difference between trying to bring your best and attempting to be perfect. One requires embracing your strengths and limitations while making a conscious commitment to improvement; the other is an exercise in futility since it demands both hyper-vigilance and an obsessive fear of inevitable errors and omissions. Striving to be your BEST allows you to keep getting better, while grasping for PERFECTION will always end in defeat. Always. No matter how good you get, now matter how hard you practice: Mistakes. Are. Inevitable.

The trick is to embrace your errors as divine gifts: they give you feedback, they help you measure improvement, and they encourage you to cultivate compassion for the imperfect people around you whose mistakes sometimes inconvenience and/or challenge you.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Some of you know that a few weeks ago my trusty sidekick, Grendel, wrapped up his adventures here on Earth and headed up to scamper about in the Great Beyond. For the past decade, he was either backstage in his crate during my presentations, out and about helping me enjoy the great outdoors, or sleeping lazily at my feet on Sunday afternoons while I assembled Ripples for unleashing on Monday morning. Peek here for a set of images chronicling our journey: I miss my buddy fiercely of course; but I’m happy for a decade of magic and grateful that our last years together were as fun and adventure-filled as our early ones. Thanks for letting me share my grief.

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